High Point Picts Scott Cherry As Head Men’s Basketball Coach March 26, 2009 (thursday)
HIGH POINT – High Point University Athletic Director Craig Keilitz announced the hiring of Scott Cherry as the Panthers? head coach for men?s basketball at a press conference on Thursday afternoon at the Millis Athletic Center.
Cherry, who becomes the 11th head basketball coach in HPU history, joins the Panther program after serving as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina this past season. A former player at the University of North Carolina, Cherry also had assistant coaching stints at Western Kentucky, George Mason and Tennessee Tech.
“Today is a very exciting day for the High Point University basketball program,” said Keilitz. “From the start of this search, our desire was to find the person that was the best fit for our program, our University and most importantly our student-athletes. We also wanted to make a strong commitment to building a successful and championship-caliber basketball program. In taking all these things into account, Scott Cherry continued to come up as the perfect candidate. Not only has Scott been a winner as both a player and coach, but he has also demonstrated a true commitment and appreciation for developing well-rounded and successful student-athletes.”
During his 10 seasons as an assistant coach and four seasons as a collegiate player, Cherry has never had a losing record and he has made 10 postseason appearances including seven NCAA Tournaments and three NIT trips. He was a member of UNC?s 1993 National Championship team.
“I am extremely excited about becoming the next head men?s basketball coach at High Point University,” Cherry said. “My family and I were very impressed with the vision, direction and leadership of Dr. Nido Qubein and Craig Keilitz, and we are looking forward to becoming part of the High Point community. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to lead these young men and to help take this basketball program to new heights.”
In his one season at South Carolina, Cherry served as head coach Darrin Horn’s first assistant and played an integral part in helping lead the Gamecocks to a 21-10 finish that included an SEC Eastern Division title and an appearance in the NIT. Prior to his USC stint, Cherry also spent the 2007-08 season as a member of Horn?s staff at Western Kentucky. While at WKU, he assisted the Hilltoppers to a 29-7 mark, a Sun Belt Conference title, a No. 23 final national ranking and an historic trip to the NCAA Tournament?s ?Sweet 16? as a 12th-seed.
Prior to joining the Western Kentucky staff, Cherry spent four seasons as an assistant coach at George Mason working alongside head coach Jim Larranaga. During his tenure at GMU, the Patriots earned two postseason bids including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006, which resulted in George Mason reaching the Final Four as an 11th-seed. On their way to the Final Four, George Mason upset Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and No. 1 seed Connecticut. The Patriots lost to Florida, the eventual national champions, in the semifinals and finished the season with a program best 27-8 record including a 15-3 Colonial Athletic Association mark.
The Patriots also advanced to the postseason in 2004, earning a pair of NIT victories en route to a then program best 23-10 finish. Cherry also served a three-year stint on George Mason?s staff from 1999-2002. During his first tour with the Patriots, Cherry helped lead the squad to three straight first- or second-place finishes in the CAA along with a 36-14 mark (.720 winning percentage) in league play. Over his seven seasons at GMU, Cherry helped guide the program to a 140-79 (.639) overall record and an 82-40 (.672) CAA record. The Patriots also qualified for the 2001 NCAA Tournament and the 2002 NIT field.
In between his stops at George Mason, Cherry spent one season as an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech, helping the Golden Eagles to a 20-12 showing. TTU advanced to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship game in his only season with the program.
Cherry began his coaching career in 1997-98, serving as the head junior varsity and assistant varsity boys? basketball coach at Bishop McGuinness (N.C.) High School. He then spent one season as an assistant women?s basketball coach at Middle Tennessee State University.
A 1993 graduate of North Carolina with a degree in business administration, Cherry lettered four seasons for the Tar Heels basketball team. He was a member of four “Sweet 16” squads and appeared in the Final Four twice (1991 and 1993), including the 1993 National Championship. During his playing career, UNC amassed a 107-33 (.764) record and served as team captain during his senior year.
Upon his graduation, Cherry played one season of professional basketball for the AEL Basketball Club in Limassol, Cyprus.
Cherry, 38, is a native of Ballston Spa, N.Y. He and his wife, Cortney, have one son, Brody (2).
About Scott Cherry:
“Scott Cherry understands the importance of building a program with character, academic excellence and commitment to a style of play. He knows that putting the student-athlete first leads to success on and off the court. He has been an integral part of helping build programs that have exceeded on-court expectations and have enjoyed great academic success.”
–Darrin Horn, South Carolina Head Coach
“As a player, Scott had a great understanding of the team concept. His leadership on and off the court was vital to our success. Scott has had success in everything he has been a part of, and I’m sure that trend will continue.”
–Dean Smith, Former North Carolina Head Coach
“Scott Cherry seems to have a sixth sense for winning. Whether he’s cutting down the nets at North Carolina, posing at the Final Four with George Mason, dancing with Western Kentucky or helping reload South Carolina, he’s always on the right end of the scoreboard. More importantly, he’s done it the right way through recruiting character kids who want to win and excel in the classroom. With Scott, you know exactly where he stands and what he’s going to bring to the table.”
–Dave Telep, National Scouting Director (Scout Inc.)
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